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Written by  :  Andrew Fisher (699)
Written on  :  Sep 24, 2020
Platform  :  Genesis
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Summary

Marriage of Wonder Boy II:Monster Land and Wonder Boy III:Dragon's Trap produces inferior game

The Good

The graphics, villages, towns, castles, deserts, snow fields etc. are often very nice. I like Dragon's Trap's idea of having a central town as your base from which you explore in all directions, some directions blocked until later in the game. Here your base is Purapril Castle/Town. Like Wonder Boy II, you play as "Wonder Boy" for the whole game, no transforming into beast-men, though you're a different Wonder Boy now, "Shion", a supposed descendant of "Bocke Lee Temjin", the previous Wonder Boy. The usual Wonder Boy music composer Shinichi Sakamoto has made some more nice background music, including new productions of his previous Wonder Boy music. I also like that they built on MEKA-Dragon from the previous games, this time having the BioMeka, alien monster up in space(it is perhaps MEKA-Dragon in a new form as he appeared to escape in a flying saucer at the end of Wonder Boy II, in the original arcade game anyway).

The Bad

First the game doesn't play very well. Wonder Boy's sword is too short, causing you to often swing and miss, before learning to time it better. And your defence is often very weak, causing your hearts to run out quickly and are given potions that don't fully restore. You're forced to repeatedly kill enemies to raise money for stronger armour. Then there's the story and the objective. A lot of the time you are travelling in a certain direction just because a somebody suggests you go that way. You just have a vague concept of some evil master controlling the invaders of Monster World. It's a bit of a hollow victory when you're praised for saving everyone when you don't really build much connection with the people and can't really appreciate the danger they're in.

The Bottom Line

I'd say the game has its moments and is probably worth one playthrough, but not without save states to make progress quicker.